Winning June 2017 FAN FICTION Screenplay – DOCTOR WHO “The Kingdom of the Mara” by Paul Hewitt

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

The Doctor accidentally picks up Shona and the two investigate a red comet that lands on Earth. The Doctor discovers the Mara are back, and must use their technology against them to defeat them once more.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
The Doctor: Brian Carleton
Shona: Konstantina Mantelos
Solomon: Anthony Botelho
Vladislav: Jack Comerford
Mila: Andrea Meister
Enok: Jordy Kieto

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV spec screenplay about DOCTOR WHO about?

The Doctor and Shona (last seen in the episode “Last Christmas”), find themselves in Bohemia during the Dark Ages. A tyrant, Lord Ivan, hoards a peculiar red crystal with telepathic powers called the Crimson. Wearing jewels made of Crimson, Lord Ivan and his followers collectively conjure a serpentine gestalt being from the darkest recesses of their minds: The Mara.

Possessed by The Mara, Lord Ivan quickly conquers all before him. He besieges the largest castle (and only cathedral) in the rival kingdom of Vladislav. The Doctor knows that walls, warriors and weapons are no match for the insidious, seductive spell of The Mara.

The Doctor and Shona rouse King Vladislav and his people to fight The Mara through very unconventional means – particularly for The Doctor. The world’s future truly rests on a hope and a prayer.

Why does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

It’s a traditional good versus evil story with the odd bits of comedy and horror that you’d expect from Dr. Who. I wrote it for the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi – who I think is fabulous – a throwback to the 70’s Doctors, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

This story is very much in the mold of classic Doctor Who. You have a historic setting that is disrupted by the presence of a perfidious alien – oh, and then there’s The Mara and a mysterious red crystal. Seriously though, The Mara was one of my favourite Who monsters from the 80’s and I am surprised it has not reappeared on TV (yet). The companion Tegan’s experience with the “evil dream snake” is what made her my favourite during the Peter Davison years.

We all know The Doctor’s companion is a surrogate for the audience and a great companion makes for a great Who story. I chose a character from a recent Christmas special – Shona McCullough (played wonderfully by actor Faye Marsay)– because I immediately saw in her the potential for a long term TARDIS traveller.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Faith Wins

What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Doctor Who
(also Game of Thrones, Mad Men…)

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Six months (Off and On). So maybe 6 weeks’ worth of an actual research and writing (and rewriting).

How many stories have you written?

Two Features (Housesitting, Guttersnipe)
One Documentary (All About Me)
One Short (co-wrote) (Saved From The Grave)

Next up is my own TV series and this TV spec script was an excellent exercise in writing for this genre.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

In My Life (The Beatles)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time was my biggest obstacle… finding the time.

The second challenge was how to portray The Mara. It is obviously not my own creation, so I wanted to do justice to the original Mara stories with my version.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Acting, films, politics, history, rugby and beer (not necessarily in that order)

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I had my first feature screenplay analyzed not once, but twice. I was impressed by the depth and value of the criticism. So I did not hesitate to submit my Doctor Who script for analysis and I am pleasantly surprised in the end to have it recognized here. Thank you.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

It’s an old cliché but true: Write what you know. That’s why I picked Doctor Who for my first TV screenplay.

Be prepared to take a lot of criticism along the way. Your story (and your skills) will benefit from it.

Procrastination is thine worst enemy.

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

FAN FICTION Screenplay – UNIVERSAL SAINT BATMAN by Nathan Trumbull

Watch the January 2017 FAN FICTION Screenplay Winner.

Best Scene from the screenplay UNIVERSAL SAINT BATMAN Screenplay
Written by Nathan Trumbull

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Catherine D’Angelo
SUMMER – Val Cole
BIRDIE – Shannon McNally
KYLE – Gabriel Darku
BRUCE WAYNE – David Straus
VIC STONE – Charles Gordon
JOKER – Nick Wicht

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery

Decades after the disbanding of the Justice League, Gotham citizen, Birdie Vale’s public and private fight with a cutting-edge robotic policing initiative leads her on a collision course with not only her clouded past, but the Dark Knight himself.


What is your screenplay about?

Universal Saint Batman is about a future where Gotham has begun questioning Batman’s relevance after the dawn of hyper intelligent AI systems and androids. Birdie Vale, a new character to the Batman Universe, seeks to find out from the Bat himself what he thinks about the new robots as well as explore her own personal relationship to him.

What genres does your screenplay under?

In typical Batman fashion, I’d consider this a neo-noir sci-fi mystery.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Fun and fresh

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think this would make a great film because it doesn’t follow Batman or Bruce Wayne, but rather a whole new character for people to rediscover the Batman universe with. It offers a fresh story with a cast of characters you may be familiar with, but shown in an entirely new light.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

I’d bet Jaws

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’d had the idea for the script for quite awhile before sitting down to write a draft, of which I wrote three in about two months time before it came to how it exists now.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’d always wanted to give fan fiction a try and contests like this one seemed as good a reason as any.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Finding people to generate good feedback on fan fiction is difficult when no one in your creative circle has done it before so I’d say that was the hardest challenge… That or deciding to gender swap the main character after the first draft.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I enjoy bouldering, movies, and video games when I have the time.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The festival was great motivation to get the script done and the feedback was indispensable in regards to bettering myself as a writer.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t dwell on the advice of other writers. Do what lets you write and write as much as you can.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

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September 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner

Watch the September 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner. 

Submit your Fan Fiction Screenplay to the Festival: https://fanfictionfestival.com/

Fan Fiction: VIGILANTE: The Origins of Casey Jones (TMNT) by Justin Prince

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

After an injury put a halt to his plans of playing hockey in the NHL, Casey Jones doesn’t believe life can get much worse. He soon finds out just how wrong he is. Faced with a tragedy Jones takes justice into his own hands, becoming a hockey mask wearing vigilante. (Based on the character from Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Steve Rizzo
CASEY – Randy Baumer
BOSS – Dan Cristofori
HUN – Steve Mitchell
CRISTO – John Fray
VAN – Kaleb Alexander
APRIL – Norma Dawn Dunphy

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay works as a retelling of the origin story of Casey Jones, the hockey masked vigilante of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s fame. The story reveals who Casey is as a person and what events push him to take on his crime-fighting persona.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would describe it as a graphic action/superhero film.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Casey Jones is one of the most popular characters from the TMNT universe outside of the four turtles themselves. This script really just gives you an idea of who Casey Jones is, the hardships that shaped him and how he develops into the vigilante that goes on to become one of the turtle’s most trusted allies.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Gritty & fun.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

I’m not sure; there are a lot of movies I revisit, including the original 1990s live action TMNT film. But, the film I’ve probably watched the most in my life is probably “Raging Bull.”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I have been a TMNT fan my entire life but as I got older I began to identify more with Casey Jones than I did the turtles themselves. So I’ve been conceptualizing the script for a long time I’d say. But, it wasn’t until after the most recent TMNT film was released that I began to really sit down and outline the story. The TMNT of the comics are actually really dark and gritty with Casey Jones being one of its darkest and most gritty characters. I really wanted my script to reflect the comic universe more so than any of the film incarnations of the TMNT have.

How many stories have you written?

Oh, I could never put a number on it. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid. I’ve always enjoyed storytelling and have told stories in almost every format you can tell one in. As far as scripts go this is my fifth short script. I’m also currently working on the screenplay a feature length film.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I just really wanted to tell a story within the TMNT universe but tell it in a way that reflected the comics more so than the cartoons. The original TMNT comics are really quite a contrast from the other forms of TMNT media; they also started as a parody of the superhero genre. I wanted to bring the grittiness of the comics to life in a script and I also wanted to have that element of parody. So here that element comes with Casey’s obsession with action films and his penchant for quoting them in battle.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle was writing the action sequences. I haven’t ever really written any significant action sequences for a screenplay before and this one has several of them. So figuring out how to write them in a way that conveyed what I envisioned along with the pacing I had in mind was really something I had to experiment with to figure out.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m really passionate about all aspects of film. Lately, I’ve really began to delve into editing and learning the way that editors tell a story or alter how a story is told.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

My biggest tip is embracing the rewriting process. So many people like to write, but they don’t like to rewrite. You have to learn to love rewriting, especially if you’re going to choose to write screenplays.

***
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

August 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner

Watch the August 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner. 

Submit your Fan Fiction Screenplay to the Festival: https://fanfictionfestival.com/

THE MASK OF LEIA
by Ian Wilson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Following the Battle of Endor and the defeat of the Empire, Leia secretly struggles with her own ongoing internal battle with the Force.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
LEIA – Laura Darby
EMPEROR – Stephen Flett
HAN SOLO – David Straus
ACKBAR – Rais Muoi

Get to know the winner writer: 

1. What is your fan fiction screenplay about?

The Mask of Leia is a thought-provoking drama that explores the hidden psyche of Princess Leia. It aims to prompt the viewer into thinking about the trauma that Leia has undergone through the Star Wars story and what her internal struggles from dealing with all that suffering might be.

By all rights, Leia should be a total basket-case or at least have severe PTSD but she has managed to mask these personal struggles from everyone around her, including Han Solo. The script also explores the potential of her being Force-sensitive and keeping this hidden, perhaps for political reasons.

How does this screenplay fix into the context of the Star Wars universe?

The story takes place just after the Battle of Endor (Star Wars: Episode VI -The Return of the Jedi) and the defeat of the Empire.

Leia and Admiral Ackbar lead the Rebel forces to the planet Coruscant to secure the New Republic. It is during this journey that we see Leia secretly struggle with her trauma and her ongoing internal battle with the Force.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Hidden backstory.

What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

I’m a Dr. Who fan. I have been since I was about five years old. I
love watching the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, because I went to school with him and we were in the same theatre company together as teens in Glasgow, Scotland. He used to play Dr. Who in the school playground and he was a natural at it then. I was not surprised that he got the role as Doctor Who.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The story was sketched out over a couple of days between film
director, David Connellan, and myself. It then took me about three weeks to achieve the final draft.

6. How many stories have you written?

In terms of screenplays, I have written five stories – two features and three shorts. I am currently, writing my third feature, which is a thriller/horror.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I have always been a Star Wars fan from the very first time I saw that iconic Star Wars roll-up. So, when my friend and director, David Connellan, asked me to write a screenplay for a Star Wars short I jumped at the chance. Writing the roll-up to this story was fun.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The goal was to come up with a five-minute screenplay – about five pages. Trying to capture the whole of Leia’s trauma into just five minutes was very difficult. My initial draft was close to twelve pages and the final draft was around eight pages. Cutting out some great scenes and dialogue was tortuous. Sadly, cutting it down further for a five-minute film meant a lot of sacrifices in the overall story, including the iconic roll-up.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Travel. In my view, travel has been my greatest teacher. It has
allowed me to experience and understand people and cultures across so many countries. Travel has helped me realize that while we are all members of the same small planet and there are also more ways to live than just the one we have been born into.

Travel is experiential and visual and for me that helps me in my
screenwriting, which is very much about creating a visual experience.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The Fan Fiction Festival is a well renowned festival and platform for fan fiction and fan films. Entering the Festival was a “must-do” for me. In the Fan Fiction Festival, I love how engaged fans can be in developing their own derivatives of the original stories. It’s a form of organic creation that deserves more credit.

The feedback I received from the festival was very useful in tightening the story. I certainly appreciated this. The only advice I didn’t feel comfortable with was to develop more character for Han Solo. I felt that would have detracted from Leia’s story.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

I like to start with “what if” questions to get a story going. The concept of The Mask of Leia is a good example. What if Leia has PTSD and is being internally pulled by the dark and light side of the Force? Think about that question and you have all sorts of ideas for a story.

Write with passion and don’t be afraid to go with your gut when writing a story. If you let others get involved and question your story concept early in the process it will most likely upset your creativity and your story will turn out half-assed. Of course, listen to feedback once you’ve completed that first and subsequent drafts as feedback will help refine and improve the story.

Finally, I’d say that make sure that you develop engaging characters.

Such characters are distinct, likeable (or loathsome) and have a strong motivation. Ultimately, these characters do not ride along with the flow of the story, rather they create the direction of the story.

***
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Watch RICK & MORTY TV Show Fan Fiction Performance Reading

FAN FICTION Screenplay Festival. Deadline July 10th – Get your script performed
http://fanfictionfestival.com

Watch a RICK & MORTY TV Spec Screenplay Reading:

SYNOPSIS:

Rick and Morty must go head-to-head with a variety of space gangsters to raise the capital to build Rick’s latest invention. Meanwhile, Jerry gets mugged and struggles to cope with his sense of violation.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
MORTY – Adam McNamara
RICK – Roman Spera
JERRY – Nick Baillie
ROBOTS – Neil Kulin
BETH – Val Cole
SUMMER – Kerstin Bradler
PRINCIPAL – Elitsa Bako